LETTER: Magnet school land deal was great for Trumbull

As a member of the Trumbull Town Council from the new District 4, I would like to take this opportunity to thank our First Selectman and his administration for their collective efforts in negotiating a final resolution to the land transfer agreement with the City of Bridgeport.

The end resolution has proved beneficial to the taxpayers of Trumbull as we secure an appreciable asset that will add immeasurable value to our renowned park system.

More than three years ago, the City of Bridgeport sought to build a magnet school on state owned property that happened to be located within the territorial confines of the Town of Trumbull. The magnet school that was proposed would have primarily benefited the City of Bridgeport, with the State of Connecticut covering more than 95% of the construction costs.

Without the land transfer being approved, the Town of Trumbull would have incurred substantial cost with respect to police, fire and EMS. In addition, there was a legitimate question concerning the issue of liability. Whose responsibility would the school really be?

The land transfer negotiated by the Herbst Administration addressed all of these issues. Originally, the town negotiated for 20 acres of property, but ultimately secured 40 acres and building facilities that will be utilized by the Trumbull Parks Department.

This parcel will be located along the regional Rails to Trails, the town's greatest natural resource, that is used by almost 6,000 residents on a weekly basis to walk, run and bicycle.

Further, by negotiating the land transfer, all issues of secondary liability to the Town of Trumbull (and the concurrent cost to Trumbull taxpayers) is eliminated by the fact that the school is now in the city limits of Bridgeport. And, if any of our students choose to enroll in the magnet school, we will still have an adequate number of allocated seats to allow them to do so.

As a wife, mother of three and former PTA president, what made me and my husband move to Trumbull was the strong quality of life and strong school system.

Trumbull's quality of life is truly defined by our park system. We have more open space per capita of any other community of similar size in the State of Connecticut and the efforts of the Herbst Administration to secure an additional 40 acres of open space only enhances our already stellar reputation. Forty acres of open space, valued at anywhere from $8 million to $9 million, that will go to the Town of Trumbull for the next 75 years for the bargain price of $1 total is, in my opinion, an excellent deal for our town.

My sincere thanks to Tim Herbst and his administration in holding firm at the bargaining table and negotiating a land transfer that will positively benefit the Town of Trumbull for generations to come.